Ninety-year-old Alice Melville, transplanted from her cherished New York to daughter Patricia's Vancouver home, reconstructs the domestic sighing of her days as daughter, wife, lover, and mother--days of Manhattan townhouses, Wharton-esque tableaus, brooches from Tiffany's, and Mrs. Seely's advice on household management. The remembered Alice spends her girlhood taking walks in Central Park and tormenting her governess, and then grows up to marry a weak-wllied dilettante (""'I'm a dabbler,' he repeated tonelessly"") who never does manage to get them out of his mother's house. Baby Patricia arrives as the century turns--stuffy like her father--and, after 1904, the pace quickens and jumps from decade to decade. AH very proper, pale, and sensitive, with ""strong arms enfolding' in ""warm embraces."" In his own way, Gordon is rather daring--ambitious novelists haven't written in this manner for some time--and the hunger for nostalgia will probably be fed more nutritiously by The Lady Who Loved New York than by most anything else around.